Clallam burn ban tightened; Jefferson’s already in place

PORT ANGELES — Clallam County’s burn ban has expanded to include all campgrounds within the unincorporated areas of the county, including county-controlled campgrounds, according to a press release from Clallam County Fire Marshal George Bailey.

The expanded ban includes all outdoor burning, such as campfires, bonfires, briquette barbecues, residential yard debris clean-up, trash disposal, land clearing, weed abatement and agricultural burning activity.

Propane/gas appliances are permitted provided the use is over a non-flammable surface and at least 5 feet from flammable vegetation.

“This ban limits residents to no flames whatsoever, including no charcoal briquettes,” Bailey said in a press release.

“Gas barbecues are OK in a safe place. Hopefully we will get a little rain this weekend.

“Hopefully there will be some precipitation this weekend to maybe start to reduce the fire danger but at this time it is extremely dry and the danger is real,” Bailey said.

This order will remain in place until conditions improve or typically Oct. 1, unless conditions continue to be elevated, the release stated.

The expanded ban is due to reduced moisture levels, low humidity and warmer weather, plus the reduced availability of firefighting resources in the county, it said.

The Clallam County Fire Marshal’s office strongly urges all county residents and property owners to be attentive to the condition of their properties through proactive fire prevention measures.

Maintaining a 30-foot defensible space around structures will help aid fire fighters by creating a zone of protection around your personal property.

You can find more information concerning Defensible Space on the Clallam County website

http://www.clallam.net/Permits/burningrestrictions.html

Jefferson County

The Jefferson County fire chiefs on Sept. 9 put a total burn ban in place. It includes campfires, barbecues, other outdoor fires and the burning or discharging of firearms and fireworks. Land clearing and yard debris burning in the county has been banned since July 1 and is set to continue through Sept. 30 or until further notice.

The ban was recommended by the Jefferson County Board of Fire Chiefs, the Jefferson County Fire Marshal, and the Board of County Commissioners and established under Jefferson County Resolution No. 30-05.

Since Aug. 10, Olympic National Park and Olympic National Forest have had in place a campfire restriction that allows campfires only in metal rings at designated site, campgrounds or picnic areas.

This includes the coastal areas of Olympic National Park. Gas or propane camp stoves may still be used in the wilderness backcountry and campgrounds, but should be operated well away from flammable vegetation and forest litter. Extreme caution is urged with any open flame.

Fire restrictions are due largely to the extremely dry conditions that are forecasted to continue. The current commitment of firefighting resources battling numerous wildfires around the nation would mean that any new uncontrolled fires would further strain resources.

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Reporter Brian Gawley can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at brian.gawley@sound publishing.com.

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